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Singapore to test technology to boost productivity in logistics

Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 20:45
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The government will test out forms of technology to boost the competitiveness of the logistics sector, said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies on Thursday.

The government will test out forms of technology to boost the competitiveness of the logistics sector, said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies on Thursday.

"The regional and global playing field is getting more competitive. The local industry is also grappling with manpower shortages," said Mr Tharman, who was speaking at homegrown logistic company YCH Group's 60th anniversary dinner.

"Technology will transform supply chains. It will disrupt many businesses, but also provide huge opportunities for others. Advances in sensors, robotics and cloud computing will allow logistics companies to overcome many current constraints and grow."

The government will spend S$20 million to use technology to consolidate and coordinate deliveries to malls, in a bid to transform a highly fragmented business, said Mr Tharman. It will pilot such systems with two to three malls over the next year. This is expected to reduce the number of trucks on the road by a quarter, cut delivery manpower by 40 per cent, and reduce in waiting and queuing time for deliveries by 65 per cent.

It will set aside a separate S$15 million to try out the use of automated guided vehicles in warehousing, said Mr Tharman. These will be used to reduce repetitive work in storage and retrieval, and can also boost the efficiency of the overall supply chain. If successful, this will be rolled out on a large scale.

Also, Singapore Transport Association (STA) is developing an industry chassis pool. This will allow companies to size their chassis fleets according to their typical utilisation needs, and tap on the chassis pool during peak demand. STA targets to launch the first chassis pool within the next 1-2 years.

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